M, in turn, tracked down their website, quickly fell into admiration, and shared with me that they would be part of the TERRA at Home Market that Saturday in Burlington. And thus, a road trip was born.
The premise behind this winter market is a little magical, not least to me; I make the joke with a wistful smile that I must have been a plant in a past life, as I operate a thousand times better when it’s sunny outside or when surrounded by green, growing things.
We visited most of the stalls, coming away with everything from organic rutabagas to Hario coffee drippers. Meanwhile, M was in coffee heaven as he talked preparation methods and bean origins with the friendly and extremely knowledgeable team at Manual Labour. Even though coffee levels me with headaches and jitters, I walked away with a dark chocolate and chipotle cookie, which was glorious: smoky-bittersweet, chewy, and the best kind of unusual.
The greenhouse setting was great for taking a break to eat lunch, but also talking with the vendors and other folks as we wandered.
Although the market was busy, we never felt rushed or crowded, and covered in conversation everything from the schematics necessary to make road trips for cheese curds to the politics of organic farming; debated the merits of rainbow trout pate versus smoked salmon (the trout won); and talked truffles and Valentines with The Little Truffle Maker (and her husband, the Big Truffle Maker, who had the best aprons in the Market and wonderful smiles. And dangerously tasty truffles – if you can, sample the Orange Heat!)
It was a busy afternoon, but a wonderful one – if you find yourself in Burlington or Milton (where another Terra market has just started up) over a weekend, it can be a great way to connect with local farmers, chefs, and innovators – and is a welcome burst of colour. Spring’s just around the corner, after all…